By Ted Holteen
Arts & Entertainment Editor
Cross-training isn't just reserved for the sports world; it happens in art, too.
Five of Durango's most creative, energetic and downright friendly artists - Cindy Coleman, Amy Vaclav-Felker, Miki Harder, Elizabeth Kinahan and Heather Leavitt - are putting on a house party Saturday at Harder's south Durango home that promises so much fun it would be easy to miss the part about it really being a Super Amazing Art Show (that's what it's called)
The artists collectively bill themselves as 13 different artists - four painters, two graphic designers, two sculptors, 2 illustrators, two printmakers and a photographer (Leavitt is the photographer, but space doesn't allow for a more detailed explanation.) Examples of each alter ego will be well-represented at the show, and getting them to talk about their work is as entertaining as seeing it firsthand.
For example, Kinahan essentially described her painting "Poppies" as a mistake gone right after her oil paint pen exploded mid-stroke.
"I resigned myself to the fact that I had just destroyed my painting, and started shaking my pen at it in a fitful kind of rage," Kinahan said.
"Finally, exhausted and angry, I stood up and stepped back and to look at the damage I had done, and I loved it. They seemed to have added an essential energy that was lacking previously. Since then, splatters have worked their way into several of my paintings, as this was truly one of those happy accidents."
Hostess Harder had a much simpler explanation for her brightly colored, almost cartoonish "Bubble Fish."
"I think it was a mere attempt to prove I could paint something other than ravens," Harder said, referring to her most common subject of choice. Despite the experiment, many of Harder's signature birds will be on display, as well, in both two- and three-dimensional forms.
In describing the otherwise indescribable, Vaclav-Felker turned to an ancient art form rarely seen in galleries, let alone home art shows. Her sculpture, "Nichos," is creepy in a cheery sort of way, and reached by e-mail to expound on it and her work in general, she responded in haikus - yes, the poems:
Skeletons in the
closet really should be let
out. They like fresh air.
Is it the creatures
that are Colorful and oh
so Crazy, or me?
Harder said the friends got the idea for the intimate but very public gathering from artist and friend Tirzah Camacho, who used to live in the same house and held a similar event. There never was talk of an alternate venue.
"I think I have the biggest house," she said.
"I was looking to do some landscaping and housekeeping, and this was a good impetus to get this done. There'll be things inside and outside. We'll cram whatever we can wherever we can."